Deeside College Horticulture students have come to the aid of Cartrefi Conwy who are seeking budding garden designers to create a low maintenance, sustainable back garden for their local housing.
The aim of the partnership is for the students to design a garden that can be easily transferable between properties. The students were issued with a list of requirements ranging from making sure that the garden was child and pet friendly and not to adventurous as not all tenants are ‘green-fingered’, to the more practical issues of somewhere to dry clothes and an area for refuse and recycling.
The students spent an afternoon at an allocated vacant property where they used their skills to survey the plot, take measurements and soil samples. They brought these details back to the design studio and their creative skills were put to the test. In order to choose the most appropriate design, Deeside College Horticulture tutor Nicolette Evans decided that the best way forward was to create a competition for the students which Cartrefi Conwy kindly sponsored with the first prize to the value of £200.
The student designs have now been submitted and it is the unenviable task of the judges to decide which student’s design will be taken forward and used by Cartrefi Conwy in their future plans. It is hoped that the student’s involvement doesn’t stop now and after Easter the students will put their practical skills to good use by creating the winning design.
Nicolette Evans, Horticulture tutor of Deeside College said “This is a wonderful opportunity for the students to be able to design and potentially build a garden for a real client which is also benefiting the community”.
Vivienne Martin, Head of Faculty for Land-based of Deeside College said, “I am delighted that the students have been given this opportunity to learn on a real life project. Being able to develop gardens that are sustainable is an invaluable learning experience that will be transferred throughout their lives and the students’ careers.”
Cartrefi Conwy are a Registered Social Landlord and are one of North Wales’ foremost providers of affordable, high quality housing. Pam Lonie, Chair of Cartrefi Conwy’s Board of Management said, “We are delighted to be working with Deeside College on this project. This partnership will not only be a benefit to our tenants who will be able to enjoy a practical and well set out garden, but also the students will gain from the opportunity to submit their designs. I am looking forward to viewing and judging the designs.”
Andrew Bowden, Chief Executive of Cartrefi Conwy added, “Not only will the gardens be practical and easy to maintain for our tenants but will be sustainable so future tenants can also reap the benefits. Our aim is to get a design now which we can pilot and see in practice. We can use this experience for future considerations for homes with gardens - consulting with tenants and giving those who are not “green fingered”, providing assistance for them to have a great garden that they can enjoy.